Web Development – Envato https://envato.com Design & creative inspiration Thu, 15 Mar 2018 03:09:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 https://assets.wordpress.envato-static.com/uploads/2016/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Web Development – Envato https://envato.com 32 32 7 Best HTML Website Templates for Creative Portfolios https://envato.com/blog/7-best-html-website-templates-for-creative-portfolios/ Thu, 01 Mar 2018 03:42:31 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66332 You put your heart and soul into your creative work. Make sure the same amount of effort and detail goes into crafting the perfect website for showcasing who you are as a creative professional. These 7 HTML website templates for creative portfolios are the building blocks to developing a website you can be proud of.

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In the gig economy of today, marketing yourself as a freelance writer, designer, photographer, or any other sort of creative is not only vital for success, but necessary for securing consistent work.

Unlike days gone by, when agencies would host meetings and produce samples through more tangible mediums and presentations, the digital world allows for greater flexibility. In fact, you can virtually engage with a prospective client and produce proposals without ever having to meet in person.

Individuals can now self-publish and share samples of their work online through self-created websites. These one-stop shops are perfect for boasting experience, displaying finished pieces, and showcasing personality to potential hiring managers. And through WordPress, creating an online portfolio is now easier than ever with easily customizable functionality, themes, and templates made available for use.

Website Template vs. Website Theme

Before deciding upon your website’s appearance, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with relevant terminology. One area of confusion for most is the idea of a website template versus a website theme.

A WordPress theme encompasses a website’s complete front-end design. This means it encompasses all of the files that are associated with the website’s graphical design, such as colors, fonts, headers, footers, and sidebars. Changing the theme of a WordPress site will modify the way the site is displayed but it won’t change the underlying core programming of WordPress itself.

While some people will refer to a website’s design as its ‘template’. According to WordPress, the template is a single file that dictates an area of a web page generated by the theme. In this sense, templates are essentially building blocks that make up the web page as a whole. Typically then, you’ll see a template for the content of a website, sidebars, the header of a web page, and so on.

Best HTML Website Templates for Creative Portfolios

When building out a website for your creative portfolio, you want the end result to be a reflection of you and the work you’re most passionate about. This is why putting in the time to research the ins and outs of available templates is especially important.

Here are 7 of the best HTML templates for creative portfolios to consider:

Patti is a versatile template perfect for web agencies, digital studios, freelancers, and photographers, the Patti template is clean, modern, and minimalist in design. It is offered with five different layouts to correspond with whatever your portfolio project needs may be. Customer reviews applaud the outstanding customer support, design, and code quality.

Additional features include:

  • 100% responsive and mobile-ready
  • Parallax background effects
  • Slider Revolution and Visual Composer included

The Foundry template is both versatile and high-performing as an HTML portfolio template. Featuring clean and responsive design with well-designed code, it’s perfect for building both multi-page and one-page sites. Don’t take our word for it though—over 9,000 users have purchased the theme and rated it 5 stars for design quality.

Additional features include:

  • 100+ fully responsive HTML template files
  • 20+ niche concept home pages
  • 95+ blocks in Variant Page Builder
  • Light and dark skins
  • Over 1000 icons
  • Social integration
  • Page notifications enabled in latest version

Massive is a Bootstrap-based, multipurpose theme, powered by Gulp and SCSS. It serves as the perfect choice for creating multiple sites around corporate needs, creative design, photography, agencies, and more.

Included with the template:

  • 285+ pages
  • 60+ demos
  • 85+ portfolio
  • 70 layered PSD and 27 PSD mockups
  • Retina ready
  • 150+ shortcodes

Air is a lightweight and minimalist portfolio layout suited for agency, photography, freelance functions, and more. It is also compatible with Bootstrap 3.x and provides an unlimited number of listing layout options around type, columns, and spacing.

Other key features include:

  • Fully responsive
  • Retina-ready
  • 600+ Google fonts
  • Optimized for SEO

With over 150 unique blocks in Variant Page Builder and 110 pre-built pages, Pillar is a reusable and multipurpose template that allows for the building of all sorts of variations. It includes over 160 sections for multi-page or one-page static HTML websites and landing pages and offers 20 uniquely designed and styled home page options.

Additionally features:

  • 100+ fully responsive HTML template files
  • 2000+ icons to choose from including the premium Icons Mind icon kit ($59 value)
  • Multi-column “mega-menu” and double-level drop-down menus
  • Social integration
  • Google API-integrated

Awesome Ideas is a clean multi-page and multipurpose template that is perfect for professionals, businesses, freelancers, designers, developers, illustrators, photographers, and creative agencies alike. The template includes a shop page feature, as well as pages for service detail, portfolio detail, and team details.

In addition, this creative portfolio template features:

  • Fully responsive design
  • 8 creative slides
  • SEO supported
  • Built with Gulp, NPM, and Yeoman
  • Clean code
  • Customer support included

If you’re an artist, creative, and/or designer, Impacto is the perfect portfolio option for you! This template includes a sidebar for easier navigation, which sets itself apart from its other one-page site counterparts.

It also boasts a number of desirable features, including:

  • Retina-ready, perfect for those high-quality work displays
  • Parallax background
  • Multiple portfolio layouts
  • 2 home page layouts
  • 3 types of portfolio pages
  • 2 types of portfolio single pages
  • Cross-browser compatible

7 Best HTML Website Templates for Creative Portfolios

You put your heart and soul into your creative work. Make sure the same amount of effort and detail goes into crafting the perfect website for showcasing who you are as a creative professional.

These 7 HTML website templates for creative portfolios are the building blocks to developing a website you can be proud of.

Which HTML website templates would you add to our list of recommendations? Tweet @Envato and we’ll share our favorites!


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Top WordPress Themes and Plugins for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites https://envato.com/blog/best-wordpress-themes-and-plugins-for-hotels-travel-and-accommodation-websites/ Thu, 01 Mar 2018 02:39:56 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66309 Developing not just a website, but a website built with your specific travel and hospitality business in mind is key to driving success. Streamlining and automated booking processes that cater to customer needs will aid your efforts. This list aims to help you get these things right.

The post Top WordPress Themes and Plugins for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites appeared first on Envato.


While it may still take 14+ hours for someone to fly from New York City to Japan, the world has certainly gotten smaller when considering how quickly you can actually plan and book the trip itself. From the flight to your accommodations, tours to days at a spa, the Internet has made the hospitality industry that much more hospitable as it relates to convenience.

If you’re starting a business in the travel and hospitality industry—or have one that has yet to flourish—a website will be the key player in managing hotel and travel bookings, as well as guest expectations. In addition, your website can be utilized as a tool for attracting future potential clients if optimized accordingly.

Best of all, you don’t need to be a professionally trained, have website development skills, or a ton of money to build a site you can be proud of. Thanks to the functionality offered by WordPress, there are many themes and plugins to put to work that were designed specifically for the hospitality industry.

Let’s discuss what will be needed to get your website off the ground, as well as nine of the best WordPress themes and plugins for hotels, travel and accommodation websites.

Building a Hotel, Travel and Accommodation Website

Before your hotel, travel, and/or accommodation website can be launched, you’ll need to decide upon a few basic things:

Platform: Whether hosted by a third party or self-hosted, there are so many platforms to build your website upon. Generally however, WordPress is the best when it comes to self-hosting services, since it’s easy to use and customizable.

Hosting: If opting for a self-hosted site, you will need to choose a web host for storing all of your website data and files online. Once you have one in mind, you can install the WordPress CMS, which is free to download.

Domain name: This is the address users need to access your website. Some web hosts provide one for free with a new hosting plan.

Themes: The theme of your website is a collection of files that provide your WordPress site with a cohesive appearance and design. You can choose to change the theme without ever having to alter the files themselves or your site’s core code. A large selection of free and paid themes exist to for plugging in to your WordPress site; many of them specifically geared towards the hospitality industry.

Plugins: Another unique characteristic of the WordPress platform are its plugins. Plugins activate different functionality aspects of your website and are part of the reason why WordPress succeeds at being so customizable.

Best Themes for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites

The customer experience had on your website is very much dependent upon the quality of the design and workflow. When choosing a theme, remain conscious of customer use cases as they relate to your hotel, travel, and/or accommodation business.

Exploore is a theme that was specifically designed for use by those in the hospitality industry. It offers four main modules for tour, hotel, car, and cruise, which can each be adapted based on whatever functionality you might need.

The Exploore theme offers extended functionality with additional features. Some of these features include:

  • Powered by WooCommerce
  • Strong mega menu
  • Custom shortcode and icons
  • Multiple post types
  • The Drag & Drop Page Builder Visual Composer, the best-selling Slider Revolution, and the Premium PSD Pack

Designed for the more modern in hotels and resorts, the Hotel Calluna theme has an integrated booking calendar and reservation form. It also allows for custom post types for adding room specifics, events, and timely offers to your website. The customer support provided in conjunction with this theme is another major draw for website-builders.

Additional features include:

  • 100% responsive
  • Booking Engine by WP Hotelier allows you to manage rooms and reservations seamlessly
  • Multiple payments supported (Paypal and credit cards via Stripe)
  • Sales and seasonal prices
  • Comes with Master Slider and Visual Composer
  • Multi-language support (WPML ready)
  • Google Maps and Contact Form 7 integration

With over 14,000 customers and a 5-star rating, Bellevue is undoubtedly one of the most popular themes for hotels and bed & breakfast locations. Along with many of the other features found in previously mentioned themes, Bellevue incorporates a powerful form builder for providing email notifications, developing autoresponders, and anti-spam automation.

Also included:

  • Live drag and drop builder, and theme customizer
  • 7 premade demos, 40+ widgets, and 25+ page templates
  • A custom version of the WP Booking plugin ($34 value) and Master Slider ($24)
  • Fully compatible with WooCommerce and WPML support is included

Traveler is one of the most saleable and popular travel themes for WordPress. The theme is most applicable to travel management and affiliate booking systems, such as travel agencies, tour operators, car hire companies, even vacation rental booking sites like Airbnb.

With this theme, you can create websites like agoda.com, booking.com and viator.com. It supports membership functions that allow a site owner to create packages for promotion by affiliates or resellers.

Additional features include:

  • 100% responsive layout
  • Multiple payment options (Paypal Integrated)
  • Dashboard reports and statistics
  • Social login, wishlist, discount codes
  • Supports affiliate programming by skyscanner.com and travelpayouts.com

One of the newer travel themes on the market. Grand Tour was built by one of our power elite authors and is best for those who need to constantly update their website and don’t want to spend excessively on resources to do so. The theme provides over 300 options to use for customizing your site, as well as the ability to preview changes made in real time.

Other features include:

  • 20+ design templates designed for driving conversions
  • Detailed tour information and metrics on which tours are driving the most views
  • Various booking and payment options, as well as coupon code functionality
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Tour reviews
  • White label theme admin
  • Free premium plugins (valued at $97): Booked, Revolution Slider and iLightbox

Best Plugins for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites

Whether by region, country, or continent, this WordPress plugin allows you to create different kinds of interactive maps.

As it relates to hotel, travel, and/or accommodation websites, this type of functionality might be useful in the advertising of multi-country tours so as to show which locations are highlighted for a specific tour.

You can even customize the map with icons based on the types of tours you offer (i.e. food, historical, bars, etc.).

Best WordPress Themes and Plugins for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites

Developing not just a website, but a website built with your specific travel and hospitality business in mind, is key in driving success. Streamline and automated booking processes that cater to customer needs will aid your efforts both in the present and future.

Make the most of your resources effectively and efficiently with easy-to-use WordPress themes and plugins—then watch those reservation requests pour in!

What would you add to our list of the best WordPress themes and plugins for hotels, travel, and accommodation websites? Tweet at @Envato and we’ll share the best responses!


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Master These Awesome New Skills in March 2018 https://envato.com/blog/best-online-design-courses/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 18:57:48 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=55304 Why not learn a new skill in March? Get inspired with these fantastic new courses and tutorials.

The post Master These Awesome New Skills in March 2018 appeared first on Envato.

Learning a new skill is a wonderful thing to aim for, so why not add it to your goals for March? It doesn’t have to take time either—the tutorials and courses in this roundup break everything down into easy-to-follow steps that you can quickly master.

So here’s a roundup of some great courses and tutorials on graphic design, web design, coding, photography, and business. Many of these resources are free, and others are included in a subscription to Envato Elements. So there’s nothing stopping you from picking up a valuable new skill this month.

1. Build a WordPress Portfolio Site in 1 Hour

A portfolio website is a must for people in all kinds of different industries. It lets you pull together your work and show it off in a visually engaging way. This course shows you how to create a portfolio site the easy way, using WordPress and a pre-designed portfolio theme. Take the course to build a great-looking site in just an hour.

2. Create a Surreal Portrait in Photoshop

Some designs are so striking that you just think, “Wow, I could never create that.” Well, I do, anyway. But this tutorial breaks the whole process down into easily manageable steps. If you’ve got a copy of Photoshop and some time available, you can work your way through this and create a stunning photo manipulation with a stitching effect. Get the full set of instructions.

3. Build a React Component

Are you up for a challenge? This post sets you the challenge of building a React component for displaying a Twitter avatar, and then you can either work on it by yourself or watch the video to see how it’s done. Take the challenge here.

4. Brush Up on Your Illustrator Skills

Adobe Illustrator is one of those programs that you can use for years without discovering all its features. This course takes you through 10 essential design tips to help you get the most out of Illustrator and bring your creative ideas to life. Take the course to discover all 10 tips.

5. Get Up to Date on SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of those subjects that changes all the time. That’s why Envato Tuts+ publishes annual reports on The State of SEO. Check out the latest SEO report for 2018 to discover the ins and outs of AJAX crawling, artificial intelligence and more.

6. Create an Online Store With Shopify

If you want to set up an online store or monetise an existing site, Shopify is a popular solution. This course makes it easy for you to get up and running with your own online store. Take the course to watch 12 detailed video lessons that will take you from zero to a functioning store in no time. Bonus: the sample store you’ll be creating is a pet store, so plenty of scope for cute dog photos!

7. Replace a Laptop With an iPad

Haven’t we all dreamed of leaving the laptop behind and going for the simplicity and comfort of an iPad? For “power users” like professional graphic designers and coders, this may not be practical, but for many of us, an iPad can now handle most if not all of the tasks we use our computers for. So if you’re ready to slim down, read this article for details of how to make the switch successfully.

8. Learn Vue.js

Vue is a progressive framework for building user interfaces using HTML and JavaScript. In this short course aimed at designers, you will learn the basics of pulling data into your web pages using Vue’s simple templating syntax. Take the course now.

9. Master Lightroom’s New Dehaze Tool

Take a close look at the image above. The left half is how the photo originally looked, and the right half has had the Dehaze tool applied to it in Adobe Lightroom CC. As you can see, it’s a powerful tool, and this tutorial teaches you exactly how to use it. Read the tutorial to get up to speed.

10. Create a Modern Restaurant Website

What I like about this tutorial is that it goes beyond the technical aspects of building a website to deal with the whole process, from defining your target audience through the design of the site and then marketing and content creation. While some of the tips are specific to restaurant websites, others could be applied to a range of other business websites. Read the article here.

Want to Learn More?

If these new courses and tutorials aren’t enough for you, check out the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,000 courses and 25,000 tutorials. There’s sure to be something there for you. Or have a look at these recommendations from previous months to get some more inspiration.

Learn to Design for Colour-Blind People

Colour blindness test

If we’re putting something out into the world in the year 2018, it really should be accessible to everyone. What I like about this tutorial is that it explains in lots of scientific detail what colour blindness is and how things look to people with different kinds of colour blindness, and then it goes on to give tips on what you can do to make your designs easier for everyone to view. Read the tutorial to learn how to tell protanopia from deuteranomaly and cater for people with either of them.

Switch From Font Icons to SVG

SVG icon

Icon fonts are popular among web designers, and for good reason. But did you know that SVG can sometimes be a better choice for handling icons? Take the course to find out why you should consider using SVG for icons and to learn the practical steps for switching from icon fonts to SVG.

Make an Unbounce Landing Page

Landing page example

A well-designed landing page can make a huge difference to your website, enabling you to steer visitors clearly towards the action you want them to take, whether that’s signing up for your mailing list or buying your latest product. Luckily, Unbounce makes it easy to create the landing page you want, and this tutorial shows you exactly how to do it. Start creating your landing page now.

Create an Artistic Collage in Photoshop

Collage in Photoshop

Feeling creative? This next tutorial is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with new artistic techniques while picking up some tips on Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom too. Juxtapose jarring images and symbols, mix in some bright colours, and create a striking result. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Build a CMS With Laravel

Build a CMS With Laravel

Or for a very different kind of creativity, why not learn to build your very own content management system? This is a really comprehensive course that includes 23 video lessons with a total viewing time of over four hours. It’s recently been updated with brand new lessons to take advantage of the latest features in Laravel 5, so why not take this comprehensive course and learn pretty much everything there is to know about creating a CMS with Laravel.

Colour Correct Video in Adobe Premiere

How to Color Correct Video in Adobe Premiere

Don’t you just hate it when you shoot video that looks perfect in every way—except that the colour balance is off? Problems with tone, white balance and other colour settings are common when shooting video, and they can ruin the end result. So watch this free video to get instructions on salvaging your work by adjusting the colour in Adobe Premiere.

Create Cool Text Styles With SVG

SVG text styles

Remember that earlier I was extolling the virtues of SVG for fonts? Well, it turns out that you can create some pretty amazing text effects with it too. Bubble bevel, anyone? Chunky metal? Or how about a neon light effect? Take the course to complete five practical projects that will teach you a whole lot about using SVG to manipulate text.

Create a “Celebration” Illustration

Champagne celebration illustration

The holiday season may be over, but hopefully there’ll still be plenty of reasons to celebrate in the year to come. So why not celebrate with this elegant champagne illustration? What I like about it is that it’s built using just basic shapes, tools and effects in Adobe Illustrator—no drawing skills required! Find out how to do it.

Build Your Own Web App With Flask

Build a Web App With the Flask Microframework for Python

Sometimes, the best way to learn is by getting your hands dirty and doing something. Flask is a popular microframework for creating web apps in the Python language, and this course teaches you how to use it to build your very own file-based wiki app. Watch the free preview to find out more.

Write a Great Motivational Speech

Motivational speech

Whether you see yourself pacing around the stage at TED or simply want to deliver a compelling speech at work or school, this tutorial is packed with tips to help you put together a killer motivational speech. Read the tutorial to learn not only how to engage your audience, but how to inspire them.


Master Photo Manipulation Techniques

Egyptian goddess photo manipulation

The great thing about photo manipulation is that if, like me, you can’t draw to save your life, you can still create some amazing scenes like the one above, just by merging photos together and applying some effects. There’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but this tutorial breaks it all down into easy steps. So why not learn photo manipulation today?

Make a Professional Resume in 10 Minutes

Resume building in Photoshop

Along with making New Year’s resolutions, another popular activity at this time of year is making a new career move. If you need to update your resume to propel you towards that dream job in 2018, this short course is for you. Building on a professional template from Envato Elements, you’ll learn how to create a resume that is clean, targeted, and highlights your skills and abilities. Take the course to give your career a boost this month.

Learn Natural Language Processing (NLP) in iOS 11

NLP tweet analyzing app

Machine learning is a hot topic right now, and it’s only going to get more important as time goes on and the possibilities and capabilities of the technology multiply. This tutorial will help you surf the crest of the wave by introducing you to natural language processing, a key element of machine learning. Essentially, it’s the means by which computers understand human speech—not just grasping the basic meaning, but doing complex things like analysing sentiment and pulling out key information. Read the tutorial to find out more about how it works and to get some practice using it in iOS 11.

Take Better Photos by Knowing the Sun’s Position

Calculate the sun's position with SunCalc

We’ve all seen great photos ruined by the sun being in the wrong place—usually right behind our beautiful subject, making it into a silhouette shorn of all its details. Of course, the sun is never really in the “wrong place” at all. It moves predictably around the sky, and there will be a time of day—or a different season—in which you can get the shot you want. Read the tutorial to find out how you can use a simple web app to plan your photography shoots with the sun in mind.

Design a Mobile UI in Sketch

Mobile UI design in Sketch

Sketch is a powerful digital design application, and it’s perfectly suited to those who design user interfaces for web or mobile apps. In this course, you’ll learn how to create a mobile UI design in Sketch, working from an initial wireframe all the way through to a completed design.

Make a Climate Change Infographic

Climate Change Infographic in Adobe InDesign

Here’s an idea for the New Year: do something to help future generations have a habitable planet on which to make and break their own resolutions. An infographic is a great way to communicate complex information and statistics in an engaging way, and this tutorial teaches you how to create one in Adobe InDesign. Find out how it’s done.

Build a Branding Package the Easy Way

Making a Facebook cover

Branding is a powerful tool for building a company’s reputation—some of the major world brands are worth billions of dollars. Having a consistent and professional branding package across print and web can really help set a business apart from its competitors. This course teaches you how to create this package on a budget by using Envato Elements and Affinity Designer. You’ll produce a logo, branding colors, a customized website, a business card, a Facebook cover design, and more. Get started here.

Create an Android Music Player App With Anko

Create a Music Player App With Anko

Anko is a Kotlin library that makes it easier to build Android apps. What better way to learn it than by getting your hands dirty building a music player app that can automatically pick and play random songs from the user’s device? It’s quite a complex app, but the tutorial makes it easy to understand. Get the full instructions and code.

Design for Visual Impairment

Example of an accessibility browser plugin being used to change the contrast of a web page

If you have a website or do any kind of design work for the web, you should be conscious of how to design sites that everyone can view easily—including the millions of people with color blindness, low vision, blindness, or other visual impairments. If you’re not, or if you need a refresher, then read this accessibility tutorial to make sure you’re not inadvertently excluding potential visitors and customers through simple but common design flaws.

Learn the Fundamentals of JavaScript

JavaScript fundamentals

There are lots of JavaScript tutorials and courses out there on the web, but many of them deal with a particular aspect of the language and assume some pre-existing general knowledge. It’s quite rare to find a systematic guide that teaches you the language from the ground up. This JavaScript Fundamentals course does exactly that. It starts with the basic concepts and builds slowly over the course of 7 hours and 61 separate lessons to teach you more complex topics and show you how to use JavaScript in practice. If you want to code for the web, you need a solid understanding of JavaScript, and this course is perfect. Take the course to start learning today!


Create Your Own Color Font

Make a color font

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, color fonts are shaping up to be one of the hottest design trends of 2018. This tutorial teaches you how to create your very own color font using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator and the powerful Fontself extension. So why not learn this important new design skill?

Learn Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer

Speaking of new skills, have you tried Gravit Designer yet? It’s a completely free vector application that was launched earlier this year. It’s available in the browser as well as on Linux, Mac, ChromeOS and Windows, making it arguably the most accessible application of its type in the world. Learn how to use it in this thorough introductory course.

Build a Slack Bot With Python

Slack Bot with Python

If you do any kind of online collaboration, you’ve probably come across Slack. It’s used by over 50,000 companies—and yep, Envato is one of those. This tutorial shows you the code and takes you through all the steps to build your own unique integration with Slack, using Python for the logic. Learn the steps here.

Master PowerPoint Templates

Use PPT templates

We all know that a presentation looks smarter and more coherent when we use a well-designed template, don’t we? But getting the most out of a PowerPoint template is another story. This in-depth video course shows you how to create a polished presentation from start to finish, using the popular X Note template as an example. So take the course and move your presentations to the next level.

Speed Up Your Design Process With Studio


More new design software for you to learn. Studio is a free online UI design tool, ideal for web designers or anyone else designing for digital products. Watch the video to get up to speed with Studio quickly and easily.

Stabilise Your Video Footage

Stabilise video

Have you ever taken some great video footage, only to find that it is too shaky to be usable? Unless you use a tripod or have the steady hands of a neurosurgeon, the answer is probably yes. Luckily, Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has stabilization processing built in. Find out how to stabilise your video footage in this video tutorial.

Understand Basic Typography

Typography terms

Any designer will tell you that typography is crucial to good design. From company brands to newspaper headlines to advertisements to websites, you can see the power of typography in action everywhere. But, like any specialised field, typography has its own vocabulary, which can be confusing for beginners. Watch this 60-second typography video to learn how to tell your counters from your spines and your stems from your shoulders.

Type International Characters More Quickly

International characters

If you often switch between different languages (or if you just enjoy using words like “smörgåsbord”), you’ve probably encountered the annoying situation of taking ages to type a letter with an accent that’s not included on your standard keyboard. On a Mac, of course, you can hold down the key and see a range of common accents, but that can still take a while. There’s a better way, involving automation apps. Learn the shortcuts here.

Design Icons With Adobe XD

Adobe XD icon design

In the wake of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the associated consumer frenzy, you may well be sick of 2 for 1 deals. But this course offers genuine value, by allowing you both to brush up your icon design skills and to learn Adobe XD at the same time. Take the course to get instructions on using Adobe XD to design a range of useful icons.

Learn to Code Securely in Swift 4

Secure coding in Swift

If you want to create apps for Apple devices from watches to iPhones, Swift is the programming language to use. With version 4 only released a few months ago, now is the perfect time to get up to speed with secure coding in Swift 4. Read the in-depth tutorial to learn about concurrency, race conditions, Grand Central Dispatch, and more.

Master PHP

Fundamentals of PHP

Take a look at your favourite website. There’s a good chance that it was built with PHP. This powerful programming language created a big proportion of the web, and it’s easy to learn and easy to use for writing web applications. In this comprehensive, seven-hour video course, you’ll learn all the fundamentals of PHP, from the basics of using variables and writing loops and functions up to coding classes for simple object-oriented programming (OOP). Along the way, you’ll learn all the most important skills for writing apps for the web. Take the course to get started building your own web applications.

Create an Inspirational Photo Grid for Instagram

Photo grid for Instagram

You’ve probably seen them before—those grids of beautiful photos, often accompanied by an inspirational message. This tutorial shows you how to create them yourself, either in Photoshop or with a simple grid-building app. It’s quite easy, and the results can be impressive. So why not give it a try?

Draw a Mandala

Draw a mandala

This tutorial hits the trifecta—you can learn a new skill, explore your creativity, and relax at the same time! What’s not to like? Drawing a mandala can be very therapeutic, and although it looks complex, it’s actually quite simple to do. So learn all the steps and start sharpening your drawing skills while relaxing your mind.

Use Gulp to Speed Up Your Web Design Work

Using Gulp for Web Design

If you’re a web designer, you’ll want to learn about Gulp, a simple JavaScript task runner that can really speed up your work and save you a lot of time. Take this in-depth course to discover what Gulp is, how it works, and how you can set up some super-efficient workflows for handling CSS files, JavaScript files, images, and more.

Pay Tribute to a Hitchcock Classic

Vertigo movie poster tribute

I love old movie posters from the 1950s and 60s. The tools available to designers back then were so much simpler, but there were no limits to their creativity, and some of the results were just fantastic. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a movie poster paying tribute to the classic Vertigo poster designed by Saul Bass. You’ll learn a lot about Adobe InDesign along the way, while also doing some Photoshop and Illustrator work. So get started on this wonderful project, and upload your own version in the comments for others to take a look at.

Confront the Command Line


If you use a Mac, you’ve probably come across the “Terminal” icon, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably ignored it. But the Terminal gives you unfettered access to the deeper reaches of your Mac via the command line (if you remember MS-DOS, think of that classic C:\> prompt and the commands you used to enter). You can do some pretty useful things that just aren’t possible with the usual graphic interface (such as “caffeinating” your Mac). So take this beginners’ tutorial to discover some nifty examples and get started using the command line.

Design a Landing Page With Adobe XD

Adobe XD landing page

It’s still quite early days for Adobe XD, Adobe’s user experience design software, which only came out of beta a few weeks ago. So why not be one of the early adopters? This course shows you how to use Adobe XD to wireframe and design a landing page from start to finish. Take the course and build your skills in this useful application.

Create a Spirit Day Text Effect

Create a Spirit Day text effect

Envato Tuts+ ran quite a few tutorials and articles last month to mark Spirit Day. Although the day has now passed, this tutorial will still teach you some useful skills for creating text effects in Adobe Illustrator. Plus you’ll be prepared for next year’s event, which will probably come around again sooner than you expect! Find out how to create the effect.

Childproof Your iPad

Childproof your iPad

Those newspaper stories about kids running up huge credit-card bills on their parents’ iPads are fun, aren’t they? But they’re probably not so much fun for the parents involved. If you have kids or know someone who has kids, there’s a high chance that your beloved iPad will fall into their hands one day. So take this tutorial and find out how to protect your iPad from damage (both internal and external), as well as protecting kids from coming across bad stuff on the internet.

Learn the Kotlin Programming Language

Kotlin fundamentals

Kotlin is a new programming language for coding Android apps, and it’s way more concise and secure than traditional languages like Java. This course teaches you everything you need to know to get started coding in Kotlin, from the basics of getting set up and writing your first code right through to advanced features like lambdas, higher-order functions, and using Java and Kotlin together in the same app. Take the course and add a powerful new language to your toolkit.

Learn Creative Typography

Creative Typography course

Think of creative designs, and maybe you think of a creative use of images, shapes, and colour. But you can do a lot with plain old letters, and this course shows you how. You get to play with typography and develop your creativity as you create a concept-driven typographic artwork. Take the course to give your creativity a boost this month.

Turn Your Cat Into a Zombie

Zombie cat

Yes, Halloween is coming around again, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time to turn your cat into a zombie. In fact, this tutorial shows you how to turn any portrait, whether human or animal, into a terrifying, dead-eyed, blood-spattered zombie. Even if you hate Halloween as much as I do, you’ll still pick up some useful Photoshop techniques in this one. So take the zombie-making tutorial and see how it’s done.

Beef Up Your WordPress Security

WordPress security tips

If, like me, you run a WordPress site, you probably alternate between feeling good about the number of websites that use your chosen platform (currently 28% of the web and rising) and feeling worried about the constant security threats. Take this short course to learn the key steps you should take to make your WordPress site much more secure.

Create an Android App That Recognizes Images

Image recognition app

OK, the simple app created here doesn’t look as good as the zombie cat, does it? Fair enough. But once you’ve learned the skill of incorporating image recognition into an Android app, there are so many possibilities for more complex apps. This tutorial shows you how to use machine learning to recognize the content of images with the IBM Watson Visual Recognition service. Get the step-by-step instructions and code samples here.

Draw a Monkey

Draw a monkey

Drawing tutorials can be frustrating—they sometimes seem to be written for people who already know how to draw. But this tutorial is truly for beginners, and it breaks the whole process down into simple shapes like ovals, curves, and crosses. It’s a great way of learning to draw, and it may just help you see the structures behind objects so that you can draw things other than monkeys. Read the full instructions.

Optimize Your Website Without AMP

Optimize a Website without AMP

Google’s AMP is awesome! It’s a great way of optimizing your website with simple plug-and-play code. Why would you want to optimize a site without it? Well, actually there are several reasons, and you’ll learn more about them in this course. You’ll also learn exactly how to convert an existing AMP-based site to use non-AMP equivalents, helping you to make your site blazing fast while keeping total control. Take the course to find out more.

Make a Professional Business Card in 10 Steps

Design a business card in Adobe Indesign

Lots of people just use generic business cards, but if you really want to make an impression, it’s much better to do it yourself. You get a chance to showcase your creativity while ensuring your business card sticks out from the crowd. It doesn’t have to be complicated either—this tutorial shows you how to create a great-looking business card from scratch in Adobe InDesign in just ten steps. Find out how.

Create a Job Board Website With WordPress

job board website

A job board is a great type of website to build for any industry or niche—it allows you to provide really useful information (everybody likes to be able to find job opportunities), and your traffic and referrals can grow fast. This tutorial shows you how to create one using a WordPress theme and some simple customisation, with no coding skills required. Start creating your job board website here.

Use Swift Design Patterns

Swift design patterns

In the world of coding, design patterns are incredibly useful ways of solving common problems that arise in development. But they can be abstract and hard to grasp for beginners, and you can end up struggling to tell your factory from your facade. This comprehensive, 24-video, 3.5-hour course will set it all straight, with detailed explanations and examples of how each pattern can be used in the Swift programming language. Take the course here.

Create a Plastic Jelly Style

Plastic jelly style

Wait, doesn’t that style look a bit dated? More 2007 than 2017? Yes, well spotted! This last tutorial is a bit of a nostalgia trip. Tuts+ turned 10 years old in September, and to celebrate, we decided to recreate the very first tutorial on the site, by Envato founder Collis Ta’eed, but this time using up-to-date techniques in the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite. So step back in time with us, and start making plastic jelly like it’s 2007!

Create an Android Instant App Feature

How to Create an Instant App Feature

If you’re not up to speed with Android’s new Instant Apps feature yet, this tutorial is ideal for you. Instant Apps let people load entire sections of your app on demand, just by tapping a URL and without having to download the full app. This gives you a great opportunity to get your app in front of as many new users as possible. Learn how to create an Android instant app feature here.

Create a Modern Business Card Using Adobe Photoshop

Create a business card in Photoshop

Yes, we do live in a world of social media and online connections, but a good printed business card is still as important to today’s freelancer or business owner as it was to Don Draper in Mad Men. Learn how to create your own professional business card design in this step-by-step Photoshop tutorial.

Use Linux for Web Design

Linux for Web Design

If you’re a web designer, your choices are not limited to macOS or Windows. You can also work very effectively in Linux, and in fact there are some real advantages to doing so. Take the course to find out all about using Linux for web design.

Improve Your Email Open Rates

Increase email open rates

No matter what kind of work you do, I’m willing to bet that you send emails, and that you want people to open them. This tutorial shows you 10 simple steps you can take to improve your email open rates. Who knew that the way you capitalise your subject line can make more people open the email? I didn’t, but the data suggests it’s true. Read the tutorial to discover all 10 email tips.

Create an AI-Powered Chatbot

Create a chatbot

Artificial intelligence is here—and I’m not talking about those dumb social media algorithms that collect masses of data on you and yet still can’t arrange your feed in the right order. I’m talking about chatbots that can hold increasingly realistic conversations with us. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a simple conversational chatbot using the IBM Watson Conversation service. The best part, for me, is the way it serves up inspirational quotes. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Learn About HDR Photography in 60 Seconds

What is HDR photography?

Sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time to spend learning something new. But everyone can spare a minute, can’t they? That’s the idea behind the Tuts+ 60-second videos—you learn a new skill or technique in just one minute. In this one, you’ll get an introduction to HDR photography. Watch the 60-second video here.

Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation

Surreal photo manipulation

What do you get if you take a photo of the sky, put it in Photoshop, and add photos of a cat, a wall, some trees and a bunch of fish on top? The result, for most of us, will be an amateurish mess. But with the techniques covered in this tutorial, you’ll get the bizarre, impossible and yet weirdly realistic scene shown above. Click here to learn how it’s done.

Learn React Through 5 Practical Examples

Five Practical Examples to Learn React

React is one of the most popular web frameworks, and if you want to learn to use it, what better way than through some practical examples? In this course, you’ll build a digital clock, an Ajax-powered navbar and more, and in the process you’ll learn all the basics of coding React components from JSX and managing state right through to higher-order components and lifecycle methods. Sign up for the course.

Understand How the WordPress Loop Works

The WordPress Loop

If you’ve been working with WordPress for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the Loop. But do you really understand what it is and how to use it? This short, ten-minute Coffee Break Course will get you fully up to speed. Start learning about the WordPress Loop.

Create Your Own Stress Cave

Stress Cave

It’s great to learn new technologies and computer skills, but it’s no use having these skills if you’re too unproductive to use them. In a busy work day, it’s easy to get derailed by stress and its close companion, procrastination. So read this quick productivity tip to learn how to take a step back into the stress cave and take some simple steps to help you see the right way forward.

Create a Haunting Photo Manipulation

Surreal photo manipulation scene

Photo manipulation is a wonderful way to create whole new worlds from your imagination, without needing to draw or paint anything yourself. In this tutorial, you learn how to take seven different photos and blend them together into one weirdly haunting scene. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Animate Icons!

Create animated icons

Sometimes good design is eye-catching, but other times it’s almost unnoticeable. A well-designed icon may not win any great plaudits, but it’s one of the little details that adds up to a better user experience for your website, app, game, presentation, etc. So why not take things to the next level by adding animation. Take the short video-based course for full instructions on creating icons in Adobe Illustrator and then animating them in After Effects.

Draw Hair in 4 Different Styles

How to Draw Hair

Did you know that the average human head has about 100,000 individual hairs? What that means is that if you want to draw someone’s hair, you can’t draw separate lines for each strand—you need to learn some tricks to create the illusion of 100,000 hairs while using far fewer lines. Take this drawing tutorial to see how it’s done.

Get Up and Running With Sketch

Sketch course

Most of these design tutorials and courses use Adobe software because it’s so popular and offers so many features. But Adobe is not the only game in town. Take this comprehensive, 17-part video course to get up and running with Sketch, a powerful digital design application that’s great for icon design, web design, and more.

Learn the Quick Way to Create Professional Logos

Create a logo kit

Have you ever had one of those annoying clients who demands double the work in half the time? Of course you have. Here’s a trick for icon designers: have a few flexible logo kits ready to customise so that you can meet even the tightest deadline. Take this short course to learn how to create the three building blocks of a successful logo kit.

Paint “Love” in Sign Language

Love in sign language

OK, I’ll be honest—I’m mostly just including this one because I love the end result. But it does also teach some really useful digital painting skills. Look at the dramatic lighting and the realistic textures of each hand; those are some techniques you could use in a wide variety of projects. See how to create this painting from scratch.

Make an Animated GIF

Create an animated GIF

Whether you love them or hate them, animated GIFs are all over the web. This tutorial shows you an easy method of putting together an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop. The example is of a wolf’s glowing eyes, but feel free to use the same techniques for laughing dogs, weird celebrity mashups, or whatever your heart desires. Start animating your GIFs here.

Go Back to the Nineties

Nineties flyer

The 1990s are popular again! Who knew? As far as I remember, the 1990s weren’t even popular in the 1990s. But if those headache-inducing colours and shouting fonts give you a flood of happy nostalgia, this is your chance to step back in time to the days of oversized cargo pants, overused fluorescent colours, and Hootie & the Blowfish. (Oh, and you can also learn some useful flyer design skills in Adobe InDesign.) Enter the time machine here.

Send a Ransom Note

Ransom note text effect

Well, no—don’t actually send a ransom note, OK? That would be creepy. But this tutorial does teach some useful skills to help you manipulate fonts and work with shapes and textures in Photoshop to create a realistic text effect. Take the tutorial to learn how it works.

Create a Realistic Mockup

Create a wine bottle mockup

If you’ve ever worked in product or packaging design, you know the importance of a good mockup. Clients often struggle to see the potential of a design until you show them how it will look in the real world. This final tutorial in our list teaches you to create your own wine-bottle mockup from scratch in Photoshop. Along the way, you’ll learn how to manipulate photos, create realistic shadows and reflections, add lighting, and more. Ready to get started? Click here for the full instructions.

Publish Facebook Instant Articles

Create Facebook Instant Articles

OK, it’s true that Facebook’s “Instant Articles” feature has been controversial, and you may not love the idea of having your content living on Facebook’s platform instead of your own. But the advantage is that readers get to access your articles at a lightning-fast speed, and your content fits in seamlessly with the Facebook app, making for a great user experience. And whereas at first it was only for large publishers, now it’s available for all of us. Get a step-by-step guide to publishing Instant Articles in this tutorial.

Master Affinity Designer

Learn Affinity Designer

Just when Adobe seemed to have the vector design market locked down, along came Affinity Designer a couple of years ago, winning a whole host of new admirers among web designers and graphic designers. If you haven’t tried it yet, this course is a perfect way to find out what all the fuss is about. You’ll learn Affinity Designer from the ground up—and the course was recently updated to cover new features like artboards, constraints, symbols, and some powerful new typography tools.

Use Style Guides for Accessibility

Accessibility style guide

Keeping your skills current is not just about learning new technologies. It’s also about important concepts like accessibility. Making your sites accessible to as many people as possible is not just the right thing to do; it also makes business sense. You work hard to attract visitors, so why turn some of them away because you’ve failed to make the simple changes that would allow them to view your site? I like this quick tutorial because it shows you how to create a style guide for accessibility, while also introducing you to some important accessibility concepts and techniques along the way.

Build an Onboarding Tour Using JavaScript

JavaScript onboarding tour

I don’t much like the word “onboarding”, but I do love those interactive tours that pop up when you visit a new site or app, showing you how everything works with simple boxes that you can click through (or click out of) at your own pace. This short course shows you how to build your own tour from scratch, using HTML, CSS, and vanilla JavaScript.

Design Better Logos

Logo design in Adobe Illustrator

Logo design is one of those things that may well be handled by a specialist graphic designer, but it’s always a useful skill for a web designer to possess. You’ll also get a useful rundown of the major tools, panels and features in Adobe Illustrator, which will be useful for other design tasks beyond logos.

Manipulate Colors in JavaScript


It’s good to learn new skills, but it’s even better to build something useful. This screencast ticks both of those boxes. Take a look at the demo—a neat little tool that lets you select a starting color and have a tasteful color scheme generated for you. You’ll learn how to create that yourself, using the Chroma.js library.

Get Hands-On Practice With the CSS Flexbox Model

Flexbox slider

Flexbox is a relatively new layout mode in CSS3, and as the name suggests, it can give you some wonderful flexibility in your page layouts. This popular course lets you get your hands dirty by tackling six projects designed to help you learn Flexbox thoroughly. And now it’s been updated with two more bonus projects on modals and sliders, so it’s an even better way of getting up to speed.

Work Better With Other People

Collaborate on website content

No matter how well you know the ins and outs of CSS, the reality of working as a web designer is that you’ll have to deal with other human beings at some point, and that’s when things can get so complicated that you end up yearning for the comfort of your code editor. This tutorial looks at some useful ways to get the content of a website prioritized among multiple members of a team with the least fuss.

Build Forms With CSS Grid

CSS Grid form

Yes, I know. Forms are not the most exciting topic in the world, are they? But the attraction of this tutorial is not the forms, but the way you create them—using the CSS Grid Layout Module, another quite recent addition to the web designer’s arsenal. It shows you how to create a form the “traditional” way, using floats, and then how to achieve the same end result using CSS Grid.

Get a Refresher on the Basics

Web design pointers

With so much new stuff to learn, sometimes it’s valuable to go back to basics and make sure you’ve still got a solid grasp of the essentials. Or maybe you’re just getting started and want to avoid some of the most common mistakes. Either way, these 10 simple design pointers from Tuts+ Web Design Editor Ian Yates will help you make sure you’re on the right track.

Keep Your Mac Efficient and Well Maintained

Mac maintenance

Have you ever taken your Mac to an Apple store and seen the “genius” running a diagnostic test on your computer? This post shows you how to run that test yourself and interpret the results, as well as checking the health of your hard drive—all without the help of a lanyard-wearing hipster genius.

Design a Vintage Music Festival Flyer

Music festival flyer

Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner, and festival season will soon be in full swing. I love the summer colours and the vintage VW campervan in this design—but more importantly, the tutorial teaches you some great skills in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. If you’re shivering in the southern hemisphere right now, just think of this one as forward planning.

Add MailChimp Signup to Your WordPress Site

MailChimp WordPress form

Some Tuts+ courses are several hours long and cover lots of ground, but this one is very short (just six minutes) and very simple. It teaches you something that sounds straightforward but can cause headaches if it’s not done right—how to add a MailChimp signup form to your WordPress site. In six minutes, you can get your site fully set up to start gathering email subscribers. Not bad, huh?

Know When to Fly Your Drone

When to fly your drone

I love watching aerial video footage. There’s something so calming and majestic about seeing the world from the perspective of a bird. In this video tutorial, you can learn about the best times of day to fly your drone for filming purposes (and in a companion tutorial, you can learn about the pros and cons of different weather conditions). I’m sure it’s all useful information, but I like the tutorials purely for the eye candy.

Make an Explainer Video

Explainer video

Have you noticed that explainer videos are everywhere? And they all have the same annoyingly cheery music? In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to put together a good explainer video for your company or personal site. My one gripe is that it’s a written tutorial—being a fan of recursion, I’d have preferred an explainer video on how to make explainer videos. But it’s still a good post. Check it out.

Convert a Photo Into a Charcoal Drawing

Charcoal drawing Photoshop action

Charcoal drawings look amazing, but creating them involves both getting your hands dirty and spending years on the painstaking and often frustrating process of learning to draw. This video shows you how to skip both of these steps and just create a cool charcoal drawing from any photo with a simple Photoshop action.

Create a Split-Screen Slider With JavaScript

Splitscreen slider

I love the split-screen effect here—as you drag your mouse across an image, a line splits the screen and it changes from colour to duotone. Try the demo at the top of the tutorial to see how it works! Then you can learn the process of creating it, with both a screencast and written instructions to make it easy to understand.

Design Buttons, Textures and Icons for Video Games

Design game UI assets

The thing about what video-game designers call “UI assets” (and the rest of us call “buttons, icons and stuff”) is that, if they’re designed well, you probably don’t even notice them. But if they look clunky, they can ruin the gaming experience. This course teaches you how to design them well. Plus the aesthetic reminds me of playing The Secret of Monkey Island as a child. Remember Guybrush Threepwood, anyone?

Master PHP

Learn PHP

If you want to get started as a web developer, this comprehensive course is the place to start. It takes you through the whole process of learning PHP, from setting up a development server on your computer and writing your first line of code right through to creating a working PHP application and interacting with a MySQL database.

Record Vocals Like a Professional

Record vocals

Want to be the next Lana Del Rey or Justin Bieber? Or maybe you even have some more up-to-date cultural references. In any case, this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know to record professional vocals using just your computer and some simple equipment. Then you’ll be well on your way to YouTube stardom—all you need to do next is….

Make a YouTube Banner

YouTube banner

Even with the most professionally recorded vocals, some of your potential fans may be put off if your YouTube banner looks as if it was designed by a hyperactive child with unsupervised access to Microsoft Paint. This tutorial teaches you to put together a simple banner for a YouTube channel using stock images and basic tools in Adobe Photoshop.

Draw a Skull

Draw a skull

Macabre? Perhaps. But what I like about this tutorial is that you can produce a great end result even if you have zero drawing skill (yes, that would be me!). Monika Zagrobelna breaks the whole process down into such simple steps that you really can’t go wrong. If you can draw lines and circles and have access to a pencil, you can draw a convincing human skull.

Tell Your “em” From Your “rem”

em and rem

If you’ve even dabbled in web design, you’ve probably come across the “em” and “rem” units of measurement. But what are they? What’s the difference, and when might you want to use each one? This one-hour course will get you crystal clear.

Solve Android’s Most Common Error Messages

Android error messages

Stumped by a ClassCastException? Tearing your hair out over a missing R.layout.main? Wondering who in Android-land thought that “Only the Original Thread That Created a View Hierarchy Can Touch Its Views” would be a helpful error message to give to human beings? This article demystifies 13 of the most common error messages to plague Android developers.

Hit Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero

I’ve saved the best for last. While we may love to be able to draw, paint, create apps or become a YouTube star, I think a lot of us would settle for an empty email inbox. This tutorial will teach you how to reach the “You have no messages” promised land. You can also grab a free eBook for more detailed email mastery tips.

There’s More…

This post has just skimmed the surface of what Tuts+ has published recently, and in the full archives going back ten years, there’s even more. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for in this post, you can search the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,000 courses and 24,000 tutorials to find exactly what you need.

The post Master These Awesome New Skills in March 2018 appeared first on Envato.

Best Design Items to Appeal to the Millennial Generation https://envato.com/blog/best-design-items-millennials/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 05:54:05 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66245 Designing for a millennial audience is a tricky affair. As a companion piece to our guide to designing for millennials, we've put together this list of new items that work well for the demographic that was virtually born on the internet. Take a look.

The post Best Design Items to Appeal to the Millennial Generation appeared first on Envato.


Designing for a millennial audience is a tricky affair. As I discussed in a previous post, their a temperamental audience that has no time for experiences the load slowly, want to know exactly what they should be focusing on, and want to feel special. As a companion piece to our guide to designing for millennials, we’ve put together this list of new items that work well for the demographic that was virtually born on the internet. Take a look.

Graphic Design

This retro Photoshop Action will take you back to the graphic design style associated with old video games. The color options are bright, with the purple, blue, and orange version being very on trend right now. But it’s tastefully executed and not overwhelming. It should have no trouble catching the eye.

Web Design

Select-Themes have a whole portfolio of options when it comes to millennial friendly designs. But one that really caught my eye was this one called Mixtape. Built for music artists, it offers a number of variations of the theme, and they’re all bright, with a strong focus on high resolution images, and exciting patterns. Most interactions are accompanied by animations, it makes the experience very engaging.

Elated-Themes is another fantastic creator of millennial focused themes. Mane is a great example of one. With a beautiful bold design, a mix of pastel pinks and complimentary, darker greens against a mostly white canvas make it look fresh. That, plus the way the graphics are layered and animated make it extremely engaging. Check out the demos. 


Purpose built for social media, this templates pack includes three post sizes, making it easily adjustable to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram’s preferred resolutions and dimensions, including square videos. It’s also ready for Snapchat and Instagram Stories, with vertical video templates. Its color palette is bright and playful. It’s got everything you need to engage an audience whether they’re scrolling through their newsfeed or skipping through video stories on their phone.

This template pack is purpose built for YouTube. It’s modern, and offers a large suite of templates and animations for almost anything you want to create. It includes templates for titles, openers, transitions, lower thirds, logo reveals, social media promos and pretty much anything else you can think of. It’s one of the most comprehensive YouTube packs out there.

Aimed at a young, social savvy audience, this template pack is purpose built for the Snapchat generation. It includes colorful video openers, lower thirds, even YouTube thumbnails, all purpose built for millennials. With playful animations, and icons you can add that resemble Snapchat stickers, you’ve got a lot to work with with this pack. 

This pack is purpose built for Instagram and Snapchat Stories. Featuring 10 multipurpose templates, it gives you everything you need to created compelling content to be shared on a mobile screen vertically, as well as templates that can be used for advertising too. The templates are fresh, playful and well suited to the platforms most popular with millennials.

Minimal and functional, this template offers a few options including titles, lower-thirds, descriptions, news cards and more. The boxes cleverly resize themselves to match how much text you’ve added, and a few different animation styles are offered. It’s perfect for videos you want viewers to be able to watch without sound.

With a slick design and fluid animations, this template set packs a punch. It comes with titles, lower-thirds, logo, and quote templates, all featuring an elegant minimal design. It’s built to impress.

This pack by therealist brings a simplicity to lower-thirds that’s hard to beat. The minimal design and clean animation will made the information you’re sharing through them the star of the show. If lower-thirds are all you need, this one will get the job done well for a generation where functionality is valued first and foremost. 

This pack offers everything you’d need to run a YouTube channel, or even a broadcast channel, as the title suggests. It includes a full kit of titles, openers, transitions, lower thirds, logo IDs, even social media templates. And with its use of gradients, and bright colors, along with stylish animations and playful layouts, it’s a wonderful choice if you’re trying to appeal to millennials.

A few words animated effectively can make for a really engaging video. Typography templates have grown popular in the world of autoplaying video because of their dual ability to communicate a video’s content without the sound being on, but also to capture the attention of users scrolling through a newsfeed. This template will make your words eye catching. 

Finally, featuring gradients that aren’t overpowering, beautiful layouts focusing the eye on the right elements, and more, this template pack is built for millennials. It’s well suited for channel reveals, featuring a spot to put your channel name and avatar that animates beautifully. It can also be used for opening credits to a bigger project. 

Find out what the generation born on the internet wants from design. Read more about millennials here.


The Rules of Designing UX for Millennials

Millennials are an elusive group to capture the attention of. So, what is it they want from a user experience? How can you get them to try your product, or visit your site? And, are they really that obsessed with avocado on toast? Find out in this article.

The post Best Design Items to Appeal to the Millennial Generation appeared first on Envato.

How Gutenberg Will Impact WordPress Users https://envato.com/blog/how-gutenberg-will-impact-wordpress-users/ Tue, 27 Feb 2018 03:53:43 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66173 WordPress 5.0 brings with it the biggest change the platform has seen in its entire history. Gutenberg is an editor that's going to allow for creating pages and posts to be more visual. Here's our round-up of what makes it different from the current WordPress platform, and why it's a big deal.

The post How Gutenberg Will Impact WordPress Users appeared first on Envato.


Longtime users of WordPress will notice a change when version 5.0 is released. With the introduction of the new Gutenberg editor, the experience of adding and editing content is going to look quite different than before.

For many, change can be a bit scary. This is especially the case when there’s a major change to something we use so often. Our workflow can be interrupted by having to learn a new way of doing things. It is very much a natural reaction.

But not to worry! More than anything, Gutenberg aims to bring more efficiency and flexibility when it comes to content. And, while the interface is different, it may very well grow on you.

With that, here are some things you’ll need to know about this new editor. We’ll cover why it exists, how it will improve the process of creating content and how it will work with your existing website. Plus, we’ll even provide some information regarding how you can try Gutenberg before WordPress 5.0 comes out.

It Better Reflects the Needs of Modern Websites

When WordPress was first released in 2003, its main purpose was as a blogging platform. In that era, writing a blog post was relatively simple. Content was generally text, with a few photos and hyperlinks thrown in for good measure. The WordPress editor was a perfect fit – a simple box where you could do everything you needed.

But over time, expectations have changed. Users now want to create more diverse types of content – custom mixes of text, multimedia and more advanced design elements. This is something that the “classic” editor doesn’t handle very well. As it stands, it is too easy to inadvertently break surrounding content while trying to add something more complex to a page or post. It also requires us to sometimes edit code – which isn’t a comfortable experience for everyone.

Blocks to the Rescue

Gutenberg, in contrast, does things differently. It enables us to separate different types of content into what they refer to as “blocks”. Each block is a self-contained piece of content. For example, you may create an image block for the top of your page, with a text (aka “Paragraph”) block underneath. If you make a change to the text, it won’t affect the image block – and vice-versa.

There are blocks for several different types of content, including:

  • Images
  • Cover Images (meant to take up the entire width of the screen)
  • Galleries
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Embedded Media (YouTube, Facebook, etc.)
  • Lists
  • Headings
  • Paragraphs
  • Tables
  • Widgets

This is just a small taste of what’s available. What’s more, specific themes and plugins may come with their own custom blocks that provide extra functionality. For example, we may eventually see WooCommerce include a “Product” block that lets you easily display product information within a page.

Overall, Gutenberg is a response (perhaps even a necessary one, at that) to the changing needs of websites. Instead of working around the classic editor’s limitations, we’ll now have the flexibility to create content exactly the way we want.

It Should Work With Your Current Theme (and Most Plugins)

Besides its different look, the other concern users have is that Gutenberg will somehow break or simply not work with their current WordPress theme. After all, no one wants to upgrade their website only to have things go haywire.

The good news is that Gutenberg should be compatible with just about every theme. Adding blocks of content should just work without the need to make any changes. There is a small catch, though.

While blocks will work (pardon the pun) “out-of-the-box”, there could be specific types of content that may not look quite as you’d expect. For example, the Cover Image block we mentioned above is meant to stretch across the width of a user’s screen. If your theme isn’t setup to handle full-width images, then you may get something short of that. It may take some custom work to get everything exactly as you’d like it.

Gutenberg and Plugins

For the most part, it is expected that Gutenberg will be compatible with the big plugins out there. But those that also place information on the page/post editor may be displayed on a different part of the screen than you’re used to.

This new setup reserves the vast majority of the edit screen to the content itself, with other settings being moved to a menu on the lower right. Clicking on a title will open it up for tweaking.

Beyond that, it’s worth noting that not every plugin is going to work smoothly with the new editor. So you may see a number of plugins being updated around the time Gutenberg is fully released with WordPress 5.0. Older plugins that have been abandoned may or may not work – the answers will be on a case-by-case basis.

You Have a Choice (For Now)

As we often see with major changes to software, not everyone wants to upgrade. In the case of WordPress, it’s bad practice for security to leave an old version in place. But those who don’t want to use Gutenberg just yet can have it both ways.

The classic WordPress editor will be available as a plugin for the foreseeable future. This means that you can both upgrade to WordPress 5.0 when it becomes available and also keep on using the more familiar editor.

This is not only great news for those who don’t want to change their workflow, it’s also a big deal for those who may need to keep on using the old editor for other reasons. It may be that a certain plugin or customization that is vital to your site’s functionality isn’t Gutenberg-ready. This will at least buy you some extra time.

Granted, we don’t know how long the plugin version of the classic editor will be available. That may very well depend on how many people are using it. It would seem that this alternative setup would be around for quite some time, however.

How to Try Gutenberg Today

If you’re interested in seeing what this new editor can do for you, it’s available as a plugin – that is, until it becomes fully-integrated into WordPress 5.0. It’s not recommended that you use the plugin on your main website. Instead, it’s better to try things out on a separate installation of WordPress if possible.

The plugin version is generally updated once a week, with new features and bug fixes being regularly added in. Those curious enough to try it will see things gradually improve as the editor evolves. Just in the few months that the plugin has been available, there has been a marked improvement in virtually every aspect of the software.

Just remember that, since this is not a fully-finished product, you use it at your own risk.

A Welcome Change

Looking at the whole picture, Gutenberg should be a reason for many WordPress users to feel excited. It’s going to add another dimension to content creation. The new editor will provide everyone with a means to more easily combine different types of content and customize it to meet their needs.

This is a great step forward for users who have felt limited by the classic editor. In fact, you might consider it an opportunity to do more with your website. You can expand the depth of your content without fear of breaking anything – something that wasn’t always possible in the past.

That being said, there will undoubtedly be a few bumps in the road as Gutenberg is sent out into the wild. With the sheer number of possible theme and plugin combinations out there, not everything is going to work perfectly from day one. But any hiccups should improve as time marches on.

And while this new editing experience will take some getting used to, don’t get discouraged. As with any change, there is a learning curve. But the more you use Gutenberg, the more intuitive it becomes.


Why WordPress Was Groundbreaking for Designers

WordPress has been an important piece of the puzzle in both functionality and the intuitiveness of its user experience. But to get a full sense of its impact on design, we need to revisit content management systems (CMS) circa 2003; the time of its release. Here’s why WordPress was groundbreaking for design.

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The Best WordPress Real Estate Themes & Plugins https://envato.com/blog/the-best-wordpress-real-estate-themes-plugins/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:42:13 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66144 Real estate is an uber-competitive marketplace full of businesses competing for the same set of consumers. They're all looking for a place to call their own, and it's your job to convince them you're their best bet. Your website will usually be their first encounter with your brand. Here's how to make it count.

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If you’re hoping to see more “Sold” signs in your real estate business, then one of the first things you’ll need to do is spruce up your website.

These days, no matter where you’re selling, or what kind of homes you specialize in, if you want to get ahead of in such a competitive marketplace, then you need an online presence. A website that looks professional, offers an exceptional customer experience, and is easy to navigate is a great way to enhance your brand.

The question is, how do you take your standard WordPress site and transform it into something incredible?

The answer? It’s all about finding the right themes and plugins.

Choosing Plugins for Your WordPress Website

When used correctly, a plugin can be the feature that takes you from being “just another online real estate company” to being the business your customers trust above anyone else. Since too many plugins can slow your website, it’s important to choose only the best options for the real-estate market. Here are just five of the top-rated options for 2018.

The Real Estate Pro plugin is feature-rich and easy to use. From the moment you install it, everything from the settings, to the pages and templates are fully configured, without the need for touch-ups before you launch your website.

Real Estate Pro is effective because:

  • It integrates with MailChimp, making it great for your email marketing campaigns.
  • It allows you to configure subscriptions according to your specific needs.
  • It translates into thirteen different languages.
  • It includes detailed taxonomies to make searching properties easier for users.
  • It can create a huge Google map showing all the listings in a specific location.

The Easy Property Listing plugin has both a “free” and premium version to choose from. The paid option provides useful statistics about how many listings have been sold in a specific area or time frame, and you can add listings either in a responsive list or vertical grid.

Easy Property Listings is great because:

  • It’s easy to display beautiful listings on your website.
  • There’s a detailed search widget available that pulls details from your theme to suit your design.
  • You can choose from 100s of theme templates with the plugin, and over 150 custom fields.
  • If you need more, you can access various paid extensions, including advanced mapping, and front-end submissions.

The WP-Property plugin has been around for quite some time now, but it’s still incredibly popular. It allows realtors to create and manage highly personalized property management, real estate and custom listing settings on your website.

This plugin earns attention because:

  • It allows you to create SEO-friendly URLs.
  • It integrates with the Google Maps API to make it easier for customers to find properties.
  • It’s available in more than 12 languages.

A real-estate plugin that’s begun to get more attention in recent years, Estatik was designed for both solo realtors and real-estate portals. With it, you can create a stunning and responsive listing website, complete with a range of dedicated themes.

Estatik creates happier Realtors with:

  • Demonstrations that show how a plugin will function on dedicated and regular themes.
  • The ability to seamlessly display property information and basic listing details
  • Integration with the Google Maps API.
  • A built-in mortgage calculator.
  • A slideshow widget for showcasing properties.

The WP Amortization calculator is a great way for realtors to differentiate themselves with their website, by creating a mortgage loan calculator on their website. Though this is a premium option that real estate agents have to pay for, it helps to generate leads by luring customers with free reports that you can send directly to their email.

This plugin:

  • Looks incredible, because it’s been professionally designed.
  • Offers free PDF reports for customers.
  • Is easy to use and install.

Finding the Best WordPress Themes

While plugins can help you to establish a more engaging relationship with your target audience, themes are how you earn their attention and prove your professionalism in your space. The right theme can inspire a customer to buy, or at least make them consider calling your company. So, which are the best themes right now for real estate companies?

The Homeland theme is a premium solution for companies hoping to create a stunning and easy-to-use WordPress website. Though minimalist in design, Homeland offers a contemporary image which is great for modern realtors and professional agencies.

The user-friendly image is ideal for showcasing a reliable identity to your customers and possible clients. What’s more, it offers plenty of customization options, so you can adjust your theme to suit the preferences of your buyer personas.

An elegant and impressive WordPress theme, Realia provides a stunning appearance for your customers, while giving you the convenience of an easier-to-manage back end. Real estate agents can manage their listings seamlessly without having to log into an admin dashboard, and the theme has been designed with a strong focus on monetization with plenty of pay packages included as standard.

The theme is highly scalable, and perfect for those who want simplicity, combined with the option for versatility and customization. Realia even has a dedicated support team ready to help you if something goes wrong.

An attractive and compelling way to organize your online presence as a growing real estate company. The FullHouse WordPress theme is a well-designed and attractive theme that comes with more than 11 unique demonstrations, a flexible layout system, and plenty of opportunities for creative design.

You can pick and choose the features that appeal most to you, and the theme even comes connected to two of the best-selling WordPress plugins available on the market, Visual Composer and Slider Revolution. These systems make personalization easy and could save you money on your site design.

Clean, modern, and easy-to-use, the Listio WordPress theme is an excellent choice for those looking for something simple and streamlined. It comes pre-packaged with the popular “Visual Composer” plugin which is great for any realtor who wants complete control over their online presence.

There’s a range of extended add-ons available to choose from, and the features include everything from a property filter service to agent rating solutions, membership plans, and more. Listio also looks great on any device or browser, so you don’t have to worry about where your users are coming from.

Finally, the Renter theme is a carefully-designed template for WordPress created specifically for real-estate agents and realtor communities. This theme provides five different page layouts to choose from just for your property “details” page, so you can ensure you present information in the easiest way for your customer to absorb.

Featuring a clean overall image, Renter comes fully-loaded with custom widgets and features which have their own unique flexible settings. This is a great theme for anyone who wants the flexibility to enhance and scale their site as their business grows.

Launching a Real Estate Site is Easy

Even though the prospect of launching a real estate site can feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be. With the right theme and the right plugins, you can create and promote a site that’s befitting of your real estate services. Good luck!


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21 Top WordPress Themes and Plugins for Restaurants, Cafes and Dining https://envato.com/blog/21-top-wordpress-themes-and-plugins-for-restaurants-cafes-and-dining/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 05:23:16 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66116 Becoming a successful restaurant requires more than just a good menu. It requires a great website. To help you find a theme that'll have your reservations full for the foreseeable future, here are 21 WordPress themes and plugins that will have your business buzzing.

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While having a top-notch website is important for just about everyone, there are certain industries where it can make an even greater impact. The food and dining industry has to be among them. Let’s take a moment and think about just how important a restaurant’s website can be to its success.

Imagine you’re looking for a place to eat tonight and you’re searching out some local establishments. You’ve heard nice things about a certain Italian restaurant in town, but their website appears to be utterly useless save for a few stock photos and a phone number. The site isn’t mobile-friendly, there’s no menu and no clear path to making reservations.

Chances are, you won’t be nearly as keen on visiting a restaurant that doesn’t take its website seriously. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to provide users with a website that’s attractive, functional and leads them to the information they need the most.

Fortunately, this is something that can be achieved with the right mix of an outstanding WordPress theme and powerful plugins. Today, we’ll introduce you to 21 WordPress themes and plugins that will have your business buzzing about with happy diners.

WordPress Restaurant Themes

One of the first things you’ll notice about Grand Restaurant’s several layout options is its use of large, appetizing photos. That’s a great way to entice visitors to stick around and learn more about what you have to offer. The theme not only makes great use of your photography, it also includes a highly-configurable menu, support for online reservations via email, OpenTable or a third-party link. There are plenty of opportunities to customize the look and layout to fit your needs, as well.

A high-end look is key to representing your brand and Resto is a theme that can help you achieve it. You’ll find stunning animation and parallax scrolling effects, along with an elegant design. There are also several home page designs to choose from, a reservation form, the ability to fully customize site colors and fonts. It’s also built with SEO in mind to help new customers find you.

Floury offers an elegant look and layout that is suitable for a variety of food-related businesses. There are numerous home page and blog layouts, along with lots of custom Shortcodes for adding visual elements with ease. It also integrates many font and icon packages, allowing plenty of room for customization.

Built with breweries and restaurants in mind, Prohibition includes some exciting niche features. Take, for example, the filterable beer portfolio. Beers can be categorized by style and there are areas to add specific information such as alcohol content. You’ll also find a very well-done food menu that is both beautiful and easy to read. The included mega menus make it easy for visitors to navigate through content-heavy sites.

There are instances where a restaurant doesn’t necessarily need a huge, multi-page website. Pizza is a theme that provides everything you need – all in a one-page setup. Restaurateurs can add a menu, reservation form and Google map to help diners get the information they need. The highlight here is the “Specials” carousel, which attractively displays Polaroid-style photos of featured menu selections.

Those looking to impress visitors with an elegant look and special effects will want to check out STEAM. It’s a single-page style theme with outstanding typography, parallax scrolling and a slideshow-based food and beverage menu. There’s also a built in Instagram gallery, OpenTable compatibility and a highly-customizable location map.

A thoroughly-modern layout and a variety of restaurant-specific pages are what make FlyCoffee a great choice for just about any eatery. Included are a Menu page that sports an incredibly clean layout, a Reservations page with a slickly-designed form and an Offers page that could provide a home for daily specials.

Soup provides restaurants with a unique, attention-grabbing layout. The off-kilter layered look could be a great fit for establishments that think of themselves as being a bit “outside-the-box”. It’s also worth noting that this theme works with WooCommerce to enable online ordering. That’s something to consider as restaurants of all sizes are using ecommerce to maximize user convenience and revenue.

Madison features a terrific use of color and typography that can bring your restaurant’s website to life. The combination of soft background colors with red scripted heading text really helps to make items jump off the screen. It’s incredibly easy to pick out specific items of interest with minimal effort. Inside, you’ll find a sticky navigation bar, a handy reservation form, chef profiles and two different menu layouts.

With an impressive 16 included homepage layouts to choose from, Granny is sure to match the needs of most any restaurant. Not only that, there are 8 available menu layouts as well. This kind of variety means that you’ll be able to tailor the look of your website to reflect who you are. The theme is very much ready to customize to your exact specifications.

Rodich is a WordPress theme that provides a highly-detailed look and lots of room for customization. It also includes the kinds of features that restaurants crave, like OpenTable reservation compatibility and a menu that allows visitors to click through to view more details regarding a particular dish. WooCommerce compatibility offers an opportunity for online sales, as well.

A great fit for a variety of establishments, LaCuisine includes demo layouts for traditional restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops. There’s quite a bit of flexibility built in, including the ability to use the theme for a single or multi-page website. You’ll also find an online reservation system, the ability to add video backgrounds and a variety of custom WordPress widgets.

A restaurant’s personality is a big part of its appeal. And that is something that the Vincent theme can help you showcase. It offers a mix of both fun and modern design elements. The look is very neat and tidy, while some animation is used to provide a bit of pizzazz. Included are six homepage and 3 menu layouts to help you achieve just the right look.

When building a restaurant website, there’s a balance between simplicity and utility. You don’t want to overcomplicate things, yet you want to make sure that visitors can get the information they need. Steweys seems to get this balance just right. It’s an appealing theme, with a dead-simple home page that consists of navigation and a full-screen slider. But you still get the essentials, like an easy-to-browse menu, blog and contact pages. This is perfect for the small eatery that just wants to do the basics in an appealing manner.

La Boom is a full-featured WordPress theme that will provide you with a well-crafted and unique look. It comes packed with several page templates, including five different homepage layouts. There’s also a filterable portfolio-styled menu that allows users to easily find what they’re looking for. In addition, there are lots of opportunities to tweak the look to meet your needs. Overall, it’s a very flexible option.

Those looking to go all-out in terms of features and content will want to check out Gourmet. With 138 included templates, it has something to fill just about every need. There are also plenty of design elements available, with tons of icons and page components to unleash your creative flair. Plus, the theme features a wide array of settings for customization.

Restaurant Plugins for WordPress

Online ordering is one of the most popular and convenient features being implemented on restaurant websites. WooFood is a plugin that combines with WooCommerce to bring this functionality to any WordPress website. Customers can order off of your menu, choose delivery or pickup options and pay online. Restaurateurs have the ability to set delivery/pickup hours, manage delivery radius and more.

For establishments with multiple locations, it’s important to provide visitors with a simple way to find the one nearest to them. Store locator provides a flexible way to help customers find you. The plugin uses geolocation to show the closest location and provide directions. Other features include the ability to filter locations by business hours, import locations via a spreadsheet and customize the map template to your liking.

What makes WooRestaurant Pro so interesting is that it can be used to enable online ordering either for multi-location chain restaurants or for collectives such as a food court. Multiple establishments can be added and categorized. From there, customers can choose the restaurants they want to order from through an easy-to-use directory. It’s a very niche companion for WooCommerce that could be very useful in the right situation.

If you’re looking to add a food or beverage menu to your website, Food Menus for WordPress provides an easy and flexible way to get it done. It features over 20 different menu layout possibilities, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style. Plus, you’ll find a layout builder, lots of icons and editable fields.

FoodPress is a WordPress plugin that will not only add a menu to your website, but a reservation system as well. There are several menu styles included, with a variety of ways to navigate through them. When it comes to reservations, an attractive form can be added on the front end of your site, while your queue of reservations can be managed in the WordPress administration area. Reservations can also be submitted by site administrators, allowing for an all-in-one management solution.


With the variety of available WordPress themes and plugins, it’s easier than ever to build the perfect restaurant website. In the end, it’s really about using these tools to show the world what you have to offer. Provide visitors with an appetizing online presence and you’ll have them lining up at your door.


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Why WordPress Was Groundbreaking for Designers https://envato.com/blog/why-wordpress-was-groundbreaking-for-designers/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 01:20:21 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=65987 WordPress has been an important piece of the puzzle in both functionality and the intuitiveness of its user experience. But to get a full sense of its impact on design, we need to revisit content management systems (CMS) circa 2003; the time of its release. Here's why WordPress was groundbreaking for design.

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Looking back at the history of web design is a great reminder of how far we’ve come. When we take a trip down memory lane, we often think of the trends that shaped an era. But it’s also important explore the role various tools have played in helping those trends expand and evolve.

WordPress, in particular, has been an important piece of the puzzle in both functionality (which it receives tremendous credit for) and design (which we don’t hear too much about). But to fully get a sense of its impact on design, we need to look back at what content management systems (CMS) were like around the time of the very first WordPress release in 2003.

An Era of Sameness

Yes, there were other open source CMS platforms available before WordPress. Drupal, for example, was initially released in 2000. But one particular system from those days that stands out is PhpNuke. It’s billed as the “first PHP CMS” and was quite popular at the time. These days, it’s in use on a miniscule number of websites.

The software was functional, but was somewhat complicated to design for. Thus, you could often tell which CMS a site was running just by looking at the design. It led to the feeling that using a CMS would box you into specific looks and layouts. That reputation was a hard one to shake.

Personally, it’s one of the reasons I was reluctant to switch from building more traditional static HTML websites (apart from my lack of PHP knowledge). Whatever was gained in functionality, was lost in flexibility. It just didn’t seem worth the effort.

That’s not an indictment of the software itself, just an observation of the limitations designers faced. It also sets the scene for what was to come.

The Theme That Changed Everything

Fast-forward to February 2005, when WordPress 1.5 was released. Along with that new software version came a new default theme included with WordPress called Default (aka Kubrick).

On the outside, the look wasn’t revolutionary. But what had designers so excited was what the theme looked like on the inside. It was, compared to previous CMS templates, relatively easy to customize. If you knew a little bit of CSS, you could take a copy of Kubrick and quickly turn it into something uniquely your own.

I have memories of pulling the theme apart to build a rudimentary blog or two. Even in the days before it was common to use WordPress to power entire websites, I was able to bend and shape Kubrick to match an existing static HTML sites’ look and navigation. That meant both a blog and “main” site could coexist with a fairly seamless look.

Looking back, Kubrick helped to usher in a new era in web design and development. The theme, along with the system it ran on, brought us to a place where both design and functionality were coming together in a way they hadn’t before – at least, not to the masses.

The beauty of this was that those with limited budgets no longer had to choose between something that looked great and something that had the functionality they needed. Instead, designers started to see that they really could have it all in one powerful package.

Democratizing Design

As WordPress continued its meteoric growth towards becoming the world’s most-used CMS, it also spread (intentionally or not) dynamic websites that featured great design. Everyone from large corporate entities to solo entrepreneurs began to see WordPress as a vehicle for building the modern web.

The combination of the software’s popularity and open source philosophy also led to a seriously powerful marketplace for themes and plugins. Suddenly, you didn’t have to be a professional designer to have a beautiful and highly-functioning website. Instead, it became a matter of choosing the theme that matched your needs and customizing it to your taste.

But web professionals have also harnessed the theme market to facilitate a more efficient way to build websites. Themes can serve as a great starting point for projects – saving everyone involved both time and money.

Put it all together and there is no longer an excuse for anyone to have a poorly-designed website. No matter an individual’s or company’s purpose, needs or budget – WordPress has helped to create an ecosystem where everything is well within reach. They have not only accomplished their goal of democratizing publishing, but design as well.

Always in Style

Design is an ever-evolving art. So as new trends come to light, it’s important to recognize those shifts and adopt them in ways that fit into your brand. Again, this is a strength of systems like WordPress. Because the theme is separate from a site’s content, it’s much easier to change along with the times. This helps to prevent things from getting stale and outdated.

In the days before WordPress, redesigning a website was often a monumental task. Now it could be as simple as switching themes inside the WordPress dashboard. It still may require some tweaks to get things just as you want them, but the process is much more efficient than it was in the past.

And the sheer variety of what can be done in terms of design is limited only by your imagination. Whether you’re building themes from scratch or buying them out in the market, there isn’t a look or layout you can’t achieve.

For example, if you’re looking to go minimalist or sport a material design look, you have an abundance of options. Similarly, there are designs focused less on specific trends and more on industries or other niche uses. Subjects like photography, business, ecommerce and landing pages are among the plethora of possibilities.

There is literally a world of design options now available at our fingertips.

Looking Towards the Future

As both design and web technologies continue to move forward, WordPress looks to be preparing for the future. For one, the upcoming Gutenberg editor will allow for page content that is more design-friendly when compared to the “classic” editor. Again, it opens up a new world to professionals and novices alike.

There’s also been a lot of talk about how more JavaScript-based applications could impact WordPress down the road. That could change the way themes are created and the way we consume web content. It may end up that the web looks and functions more like an app than anything else.

Regardless of what the future brings, WordPress has already had a huge role in making design something that we can all access and implement into our own websites. That in itself is quite an accomplishment.


How to Use Bootstrap to Build an Attractive Website

Are you a business owner wanting to take control of your website or web app, a web designer or developer looking to maximize productivity, or a theme author or web agency keen on stamping your unique brand on your work? Bootstrap is a mobile-first, open-source web framework that can help.

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How to Design Pop-Ups That Google Won’t Hate https://envato.com/blog/how-to-design-pop-ups-that-google-wont-hate/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 01:01:10 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=66001 We've all seen them, and we've all dismissed them more times than many of us care to recall. Pop-ups are annoying. But, they remain a reality of the internet because they work! So, where's the sweet spot? How do you build effective pop-ups that won't annoy users, and Google won't hate? We found out.

The post How to Design Pop-Ups That Google Won’t Hate appeared first on Envato.


Users aren’t the only ones who hate pop-ups – Google does too, especially on mobile devices. If you’ve ever opened a site on your phone and tried to close a pop-up that just won’t go away, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So, last year the search giant announced it was cracking down on “intrusive interstitials” on mobile devices – aka pop-ups that provide “a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible.”

Google rolled out its anti-mobile pop-up algorithm update on January 10, 2017. If you’re wondering why I’m telling you about it 12 months later, it’s because I recently wanted to add a mobile pop-up to my own site and couldn’t find any useful resources. So I thought I’d put it together myself. I hope you find it useful.

What is an Intrusive Interstitial?

When you’re accessing sites on your phone, it can be frustrating when you open a site and you’re presented with a big ol’ pop-up that covers the whole screen.

As Google puts it: “Intrusive mobile pop-ups] can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.”

Google is user-focused and usability is usually at the heart of its algorithmic changes. While the changes regarding interstitials caused issues for businesses that rely on advertisements as a primary source of revenue, the signal change is a win for the user.

Google has provided three examples of pop-ups that make web pages more difficult for users to access, and which site owners should avoid:

  1. Pop-ups that cover the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results or while they are looking through the page.
  2. Pop-ups that display a standalone interstitial that the user has to click to close before accessing the main content.
  3. A layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page looks similar to a standalone pop-up, but the original content has been inlined beneath the fold.

Google has provided three examples of intrusive interstitials. If you use one of these techniques, expect your site to lose organic traffic.

In the wild, there are still a lot of websites that are defying Google’s crackdown on interstitials, like Harvard Business Review:

In order to read the publication’s articles, the pop-up forces you to dismiss the notice.

If you’re a designer or developer who missed Google’s announcement and are still using old-fashioned pop-ups that obscure the user’s view of your website, it’s time to ditch those tactics.

And if you’re a site owner who relies on ad revenue generated by interstitials, now you know why your traffic is down – and why it’s time to find another source of revenue.

So What is a Good Mobile Pop-Up?

By contrast, here are some examples of mobile interstitials that aren’t affected by the new signal in Google’s ranking algorithm:

  1. Pop-ups that are required for a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or age verification.
  2. Login dialogs on websites where content is not publicly indexable, i.e. private content such as email or content that is behind a paywall.
  3. Pop-ups and banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible i.e. app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome.

Three examples of good mobile pop-ups that don’t negatively impact the user experience.

In the third example, it’s not 100% clear what a “reasonable” amount of screen space is, though going off the image provided designers and developers can make assumptions.

Online magazine Atlas Obscura uses a small pop-up on the mobile version of its site to collect email address. This interstitial fits the definition Google has laid out in its third example, but might even be slightly too big.

Atlas Obscura’s mobile pop-up.

FiveThirtyEight, on the other hand, plays it very safe. The statistical analysis news site displays a very small dismissible pop-up at the bottom of its news pages.

News site FiveThirtyEight displays a small pop-up for collecting emails.

Likewise, Wired also plays it safe, displaying a small dismissible interstitial at the bottom of its mobile site.

Wired displays a small pop-up at the bottom of the page for mobile devices.

Why You Shouldn’t Ditch Pop-Ups Altogether

Pop-ups, when done badly, are annoying and interfere with the user experience. In fact:

  • 70% of people say they get annoyed by irrelevant pop-up ads, and
  • Annoying ads are the number one reason why people would block a site.

Yet, when done right, pop-ups can be ridiculously effective and have been proven to work time and time again for lots of different reasons:

  • To encourage people to join an email newsletter
  • To highlight sales information, i.e. Free shipping for Valentine’s Day!
  • To showcase new products, i.e. Shop our new 2018 summer collection!
  • To ask visitors a question in order to gather insights, i.e. Would you like more payment options? Help us decide. Vote now!
  • To encourage visitors to download a lead magnet, i.e. Download our free ebook!

Here are some examples of websites that have found success with pop-ups:

  • WP Beginner increased its email opt-ins by a whopping 600% when it implemented a pop-up with exit intent
  • Visual Web Optimizer had a 50% boost in signups when it switched from just having a call-to-action button on its homepage to having a pop-up with a free trial offer
  • After launching a new site design, blogger and author Chris Penn removed the pop-up on his site and embedded it on the page instead. His subscriptions fell off a cliff and the pop-up is back.
  • Social media scientist Dan Zarella studied the bounce rate on his site with and without a pop-up. He found that the only big difference was the number of email subscribers, which doubled with the pop-up.

This quote from the Conversion Conference Blog sums up pop-ups nicely:

“[They’re] a lot like Justin Bieber: You either love ‘em, or hate ‘em, but lately you see ‘em everywhere – because they still pull in big crowds.”

Pop-Up Plugins That Meet Google’s Guidelines

Ready to start using pop-ups (that are unobtrusive!)? Here are some great plugins available on our plugin marketplace that follow Google’s mobile interstitial guidelines.

Ninja Popups is by far the most popular pop-up plugin with 30,000+ sales. With this plugin you can easily create gorgeous looking pop-ups that hook up to all the popular email services, including MailChimp, GetResponse, InfusionSoft, ConvertKit and more. There are 70+ stunning popups themes to get you started, and on mobile you can choose how you want your pop-ups to display (or not display) so that your site complies with Google’s mobile rules.

With over 200 templates ready to use and a visual constructor, Layered Popups is a fully featured popups plugin that leaves no stone unturned. As far as mobile pop-ups go, this plugin lets you create different pop-ups for the mobile and desktop versions of your site, or simply disable onload pop-ups for mobile devices.

ConvertPlus offers more than 100+ beautifully designed pop-up templates, which you can customize for mobile devices. This plugin provides a number of different options to help users meet Google’s mobile guidelines and enhance the user experience, including enabling and disabling pop-ups on mobile, and tracking cookies to avoid showing pop-ups to the same user more than once.

With its powerful visual editor, stunning pop-up templates and myriad of other features, MasterPopups is a fantastic option if you’re looking to add a pop-up to your site. What I find particularly impressive is how this plugin allows users to customize mobile pop-ups so they meet Google’s guidelines. Like other plugins, this one lets you set cookies and disable pop-ups on mobile.

Wrapping Up

I hope you’ve found this guide useful and you’ll dig it out the next time you design a pop-up for your site. Don’t forget mobile users! No one likes to see big, ugly pop-ups when they’re scrolling through pages on their phone. With the pop-up plugins listed above, you can create stunning pop-ups that follow Google’s guidelines, are helpful for users, and allow you to collect emails

For more pop-up plugin options, check out our plugin marketplace.


The post How to Design Pop-Ups That Google Won’t Hate appeared first on Envato.

Best WordPress Themes & Plugins for Medical Professionals https://envato.com/blog/best-wordpress-themes-plugins-doctors-medical-professionals/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:54:22 +0000 https://envato.com/?p=65932 Like every other major service-based profession, Medical professionals rely on being found, in order to provide their service. While a great location can help, not everyone can afford one. However, a strong web presence can help bypass this issue. Here are the best themes to make your Medical WordPress site standout.

The post Best WordPress Themes & Plugins for Medical Professionals appeared first on Envato.


Like with every other major service-based profession, Medical professionals rely firstly on being found, in order to deliver value and provide their service.

Often times this is a byproduct of a great location, but with ever-increasing population density in urban areas, it’s becoming less of an option, particularly due to the higher attached cost of renting such a property. Not to mention that even with a really central location, nobody can can’t guarantee the needed visibility.

Aside from compelling signage and a well thoughtout strategy for promotion, expanding over into the realm of digital is another wise option worth considering.

With the items we’ve outlined here, you’ll be able to build up your online presence and attract more customers, irrespective of the size of your practice. Certain scripts featured here also help streamline your business, to enable a more professional appearance, as well as deliver a positive experience to your future patients.

After all, word of mouth, after a positive experience, will always remain the guaranteed way to success! Let’s dive right in and check out some of the excellent items for doctors and other medical professionals:

Cosmedical is an easy-to-customize and fully featured Health & Medical WordPress Theme. When purchasing this theme, you will receive a detailed help file along with additional features like eCommerce and the Slider Revolution plugin. The theme has built-in support for testimonials, staff, services and more. Everything you need to build your health & medical website.

Display your medical staff, divided by departments if needed. You can have your team display in four different layouts, a search form and a live filter. Perfect to let your users find the perfect doctor.

Physiotherapy is niche specific WordPress theme for physiotherapy. The theme has features for the physiotherapy (and medical) niche like: a doctor’s work schedule, appointment forms, working schedules, services (departments), testimonials, and all other standard theme features such as galleries, sliders, blog posts, inner pages, contact, team, career section and more. This theme can be used for any health-related website.

In terms of design, the Eye Care WordPress theme is  specifically crafted for optometrists and any type of Medical clinic or hospital. Optometry WordPress Theme offers so many features. It also allows you to change colors, fonts, layout and more really easily. BONUS: The composer plugin inside Eye Care WordPress theme gives you additional flexibility, to make it look just as you want it to!

MedicPlus is a Medical WordPress theme created especially for Health , Clinic & Medical Related Projects. MedicPlus comes with many useful pages & sixteen homepage options, sixteen demo sets for any department in clinic business. Woocommerce is supported out of the box, too!

Create a store locator for your website to enable your customers to find your dentist or medical center easily. Import and geocode thousands of locations using CSV file. The plugin is fully responsive, comes with multiple layouts and a set of fully customizable styles. It also has street view (in areas where this is supported) and get directions features.

Medix has a responsive classic design, but at the same time contains a fancy highlights that inspires confidence and optimism to a visitor. Ability to choose different accent colors, color schemes and layout style make this theme especially cool. The valid code of this theme provides speed and reliability for everyday usage on any web hosting.

Oculus is a fully responsive Optical Theme that can be used for optical shop, optometry clinic. Also can be ideal for handmade, fashion, sunglasses, watches, jewelry, accessories and so many more. Creative and Multi-Concept business theme that includes everything you need for your perfect online store.

W8 Contact Form provides a modern, attractive contact form for your website. It has a really useful feature that allows multiple recipients, chosen via a drop-down menu. Customization doesn’t end there, as the plugin comes with various predefined styles and skins. Big plus – all interactions can be recorded and viewed later within the log, to never miss any messages. The plugin also allows you to set up a global Auto-Reply or configure it one-by-one for each of your contacts.

MedicPress is designed with a level of precision you’d expect from a surgeon. Patients get very delicate when it comes to their healthcare, and rightly so! Would you trust your health to someone who looks unprofessional? In most of the cases, a website is the first interaction between the doctor and the patient. Get the trust of your patients before they even meet you in person, and then deliver your stellar care and knowledge.

Vital for WordPress differentiates itself from the competition with compelling, complete conceptual demos for a wide range of wellness, health and beauty websites. That doesn’t mean just homepages, but rather complete multi-page websites. Full templates with everything you need to create the website you’ve been dreaming of!

MedPlus is a theme that’s incredibly versatile, allowing you to create the exact type of website you need. It comes with 5 different handsome homepage variations, amazing design and a very clearly structured navigation. 

Medicare is a fully dynamic, well structured and beautiful Responsive WordPress Theme, specifically designed for hospitals, health clinics, dentists and any other health service. It’s easy to use, includes focus search, departments, doctor profiles and so much more.

Mediclick is a multipurpose WordPress theme for Medical, Spa, Yoga & Fitness Landing and Business. It comes with a really easy to use Drag & Drop Builder, Exclusive Interactive Mobile Mockup plugin, as well as support for unlimited colors and layouts.

MWP Diet Calorie Calculator is a WordPress plugin that allows you to calculate a lot of parameters for maintaining and composing your diet program. This might come in handy not only for medical specialists and their respective customers, but also for Health & Fitness professionals.

Polyclinic is a really great example of taking accessibility into account and something that needs to be a priority. The main focus during the theme development was put into making your website content readable and accessible – the theme is optimized also for visitors with disabilities, because accessibility matters, especially with medical institutions! This makes the Polyclinic theme a perfect fit for real-world clinics and hospitals.

Medicenter is a responsive WordPress Theme is best suited for doctors, health clinics, hospitals and medical organizations. Redesigned to be cleaner, faster, more modern with a fresh feel, giving you heaps of flexibility to fine-tune your website and make people wish they’d get an appointment with you!

Medicom is a fully responsive premium WordPress theme that works for pretty much any medical and health website. It is built using Bootstrap 3 and includes lots of awesome features. It also happens to include the Visual Composer page builder and Layer Slider, both of which may come in handy if you want to get up and running quickly.

Entrepreneur helps convert visitors to customers using built in conversion forms, booking and scheduling calendars. There is simply so much you can accomplish with this theme! Designed from the ground up to make day to day business easier and more successful, it’s a must have item for any medical professional looking to grow their business and streamline customer conversion.

A clean, fresh and highly readable WordPress health and medical website theme. It was created to empower great websites with its easy-to-use page builder, that’s an effective tool for webmasters of medical and health-related organizations, hospitals, clinics, sports medicine centers, fertility clinics and basically all sorts of similar, related health service organizations and businesses.

That wraps up our list of the best WordPress themes & plugins for Medical Professionals. Like what you see? Missing your favorite item? Let us know, over on the forums, so we can improve future iterations of this article and bring you some better tailored content!


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